Anglo–Swiss multinational commodity trading and mining company Glencore has announced that it intends to slash around 2,000 employees from the Congolese mine, the world’s most prolific producer of cobalt.
According to sources close to the situation who spoke to the Wall Street Journal, the company said it plans to curb production at the Mutanda Mining Sarl in Congo. The sources say this will potentially take a sizable portion of two important industrial metals out of circulation.
The Mutanda mine is the world’s largest and richest source of cobalt.
In other news, sources have also spoken to Reuters and said that Glencore has bought 200 thousand metric tons of aluminum on the London Metal Exchange for delivery at Malaysian warehouses owned by ISTIM UK.
According to the unidentified sources, the company needs the aluminum supply for delivery to an end user but Glencore’s purchase was also a shot across the bow of ISTIM, which does not allow firms from taking LME metal from its warehouses in Port Klang.
The sources have revealed that Glencore receives the lion’s share of its aluminium from Century Aluminum, but it also purchased over a million tons of raw aluminium from U.C. Rusal in 2018.
The sources said that the firm’s current commitments to buy aluminum will soon have its inventory peaking above 3 million tons, fully a tenth of the world’s ex-China supply.
“They’ve (Glencore) canceled 200,000 tons in Port Klang. It’s moving out slowly and unlikely to go back into the LME system”
Glencore previously had a 7-year, 14.5-million ton contract where it was purchasing aluminum stock from Rusal. Sources say the purchase in question was outside of that agreement.
“That contract ended last year. Glencore will for now buy aluminum from Rusal on a quarterly basis,” explained an unidentified aluminum trader. “There is a lot of aluminum in LME warehouses in Malaysia, and Port Klang is one of the cheapest places to store metal,” they added.